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Wolfgang Van Halen, Slash Pay Tribute to Taylor Hawkins: ‘We Lost a Really Close Friend’

The death of Taylor Hawkins continued to inspire tributes over the weekend as the music world struggled to come to terms with the loss of the vibrant, beloved Foo Fighters drummer. Among those dedicating songs to Hawkins — who died at age 50 on Friday (March 25) in his hotel room in Bogota, Colombia of as-yet-undisclosed causes — was Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, who tipped his hat to a man he considered a good friend.

“I’m sure most of you are aware that we lost a really close friend of ours last night — Taylor Hawkins, the drummer of the Foo Fighters,” Slash, 56, told the crowd at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando during a show by his band, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

“First of all, he was a great f–king guy — a f–king sweetheart,” he continued. “He was a really good friend and a kickass drummer. [We’re] completely crushed that we’ve lost him. So we wanna do a song tonight and dedicate it to him. So we’re gonna play something we haven’t played actually on this whole tour, but we’re gonna do it tonight.” The band then launched “Starlight,” a moving power ballad from Slash’s 2010 debut solo album.

“Oh Starlight, don’t you cry/ We’re gonna make it right before tomorrow/ Oh Starlight, don’t you cry/ We’re gonna find a place where we belong/ Where we belong/ And so you know, you’ll never shine alone/ Starlight we’ll find a place where we belong,” Kennedy sang.

Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform Friday night in Bogotá as part of Festival Estéreo Picnic, but the well-loved performer, who had been with the band since 1997, was found dead in his hotel room.

Throughout the weekend, Hawkins’ friends and musical peers mourned his death and paid tribute to him, celebrating his “spirit and unstoppable rock power,” as Tom Morello put it. Miley Cyrus dedicated her Saturday night performance in Brazil to Hawkins, “the most bad ass dude I know who would want me to shine and sing LOUD for the love of rock n roll,” while Elton John played “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” in Hawkins’ honor at a Saturday show in Des Moines, Iowa and Coldplay dedicated their 2015 track “Everglow” to him during a Friday night show in Monterrey, Mexico.

Also on Saturday night, Wolfgang Van Halen performed the Foos’ “My Hero” during a show in Boston by his band Mammoth WVH. “We lost somebody really important yesterday. And he was a hero to me, and a hero to all of us,” Wolfie said while gesturing to his band as audience members shouted “Taylor!” over and over before the band busted into the thundering, faithful cover. “And a hero to countless people out there. So, we feel this is necessary. We worked this out this morning, so please excuse any rough edges, but we just had to f–kin’ do this.”

“My Hero” was also the tribute track of choice for Daughtry, who teamed up with Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti and Lyell on Saturday night at the Fillmore in New Orleans for their unplugged version of the third single from the Foos’ 1997 The Colour and the Shape album.

Watch Slash, Mammoth WVH and Daughtry’s tributes below.